• India has a 16 per cent share in GCC paper  and allied products market valued at US$3.8 billion
  • Indian paper product exports to GCC at US$638 million

Dubai:  Indian exports to GCC grew by 44 per cent in FY2021-22 to US$43.9 billion compared to last fiscal’s US$27.8 billion with the UAE leading the trade with 68 per cent growth, valued at US$28 billion against US$16.7 billion in 2021, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the apex body of the country’s Export Promotion Councils said today.

In a statement at the niche expo, Super Sourcing Dubai (SSD), co-located with Propaper Dubai 2022 taking place at Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City during September 20-22, top FIEO officials said paper and allied products exports to the GCC touched US$638 million in 2021 with the UAE taking a major share in the trade at US$386 million.

 “Our exports performance in the GCC in FY 2021-22 has been marvellous. Apart from the UAE, our exports to Saudi Arabia grew by 49%, Oman by 33%, Qatar by 43%, Kuwait by 17% and exports to Bahrain increased by 70%,” said  Dr. Ajay Sahai, Director-General and CEO of FIEO.

In the case of the paper industry, India has a 16 per cent market share in GCC and  the target is to corner a 25 per cent market share  by 2027  with the signing of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with other Gulf countries. India and the UAE signed CEPA in February this year which came into force on May 1 2022. The cumulative demand for paper and allied products in the GCC market is estimated to be over USS$3.8 billion.

“We see a lot of opportunities for Indian companies post signing of CEPA with the UAE and are sure that participation in the SSD with such a large contingent, perhaps the biggest after Dubai Expo from India, will give a boost to our trade further,” Dr. Sahai said, adding that the export prospects will further scale up  since zero-duty access for Indian products to the UAE is expected to expand over 5-10 years to 97 percent of UAE tariff lines, or 99% of Indian exports by value.

SSD is an exclusive show for Indian Exporters to get connected with decision-makers in the supermarkets, hypermarkets, retail chains, buying agents and importers in the Middle East, GCC and African region

“FIEO has been aggressively pushing to enhance India’s exports to the GCC region. In the current financial year, FIEO has planned various activities for the development of India’s export to the region, including exhibitions, B2B delegations, interactive sessions and capacity building programs,” said Dr. A Sakthivel, President of FIEO.

He said FIEO has already participated in exhibitions and trade activities in Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, UAE and Saudi Arabia and there are even more activities lined up in Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman and the UAE.

The India-UAE CEPA is expected to lift merchandise trade to US$ 100 billion by 2030. Further, the agreement will also open up opportunities for MSMEs and provide job opportunities to the tune of 1 million.  India is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner and largest in terms of exports. Under the CEPA, around 90% of the products exported and 80% of lines of trade from India and to the UAE attract zero duty instantly.